What’s your neighborhood like?

Last evening we went to a Japanese Robotaya restaurant in the East Village (NYC). The cuisine presentation style was certainly unique and entertaining but my ears perked up when I heard “Our fish is flown in from Japan everyday”. A few years back, this would have been luxurious and exciting to hear, but now, it just didn’t sound right.

In the last decade we have seen extended and maximized distribution cycles that track all the way around the world.  The Mackerel at the restaurant was flown in from Japan, trucked to a local distribution hub, van-ned to the restaurant, stored in a sub zero freezer, before landing up on my plate.  Summing it up, Airplane fuel + Truck Fuel + Van Fuel + Energy usage for freezer. Now that’s a lot of extra numbers.

The conscious need to shop local products is becoming increasingly a global responsibility issue and as local citizens we have a role to play.

We caught sight of a great initiative, that voices a similar spirit and empowers the community at a local level.

Supportland has launched in Portland, Oregan and lists various local stores, restaurants, businesses and services. It encourages locals to  spend their $s at any of these 49 locations in exchange of points. The points can then be redeemed as rewards at various tiers; get a free cup of coffee after your 10th, extra points for daily visits, points for the first swipe of the day and bonanza rewards upon accumulation of substantial number of points. All that, with just one card in hand.

If you are getting points on spending on quality products in your local neighborhood, why bother with anything else. And lets face it, when the guy at your local coffee shop always greets you in the morning with a knowing smile and a thought to ponder upon, thats a nice little gesture to take with you for the rest of your day.

So then, isn’t it time to get local and find out what your neighborhood is like?


Photo courtesy: Dune Lake Flower Farm


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